The Moby Media Group, the largest media company in Afghanistan, signed a contract with an Afghan firm at a ceremony in Kabul on Monday to provide insurance coverage to its employees.
Addressing the ceremony, the CEO of Moby Group in Afghanistan, Shafic Gawhari, said the company will reassess its security strategy and human resources policy to provide better attention to its employees.
Gawhari said the discussions on insurance coverage to Moby employees took almost three years. “It is accident insurance. If our colleague or an employee is injured or becomes disabled during an incident or, God forbidden, he loses his life, then his family should be taken care of,” he added.
He said that the tragic incident against Moby employees in 2016 was a turning point for the protection of staff members of the company.
Moby Group has lost 11 employees in the past four years in different violent incidents, including a suicide attack which was carried out by the Taliban that killed seven employees of Tolo TV in 2016.
“Basically, it is a contractual arrangement, by which an insurance company undertakes to provide a guarantee of compensation, applying on both individual and on corporates for specified loss,” the CEO of Insurance Corporation of Afghanistan, Jamal Asfour, said.
“I am very happy that today we all have reached the point that we signed the first insurance contract for nearly 700 employees of Moby Group and I hope that it is a clear message to all those who are a threat to the freedom of speech and media activities,” the TOLOnews Director Lotfullah Najafizada said.
Members of media supporting organizations and government officials welcomed the move and said it provides protection to the media workers.
“Protection is one of the fundamental needs. We live in an impoverished country where there is no supportive umbrella and safety neither in the private sector nor in the government sectors,” the head of the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission, Nader Nadery, said.
The Deputy Minister of Information and Culture, Mohammad Aqa Fazel Sancharaki, meanwhile, criticized Afghan politicians for not taking into consideration the achievements in the media sector and freedom of speech when it comes to peace talks with the Taliban.
“Those who attended these meetings, I heard nothing from them about the achievements and the modern political system of Afghanistan, democratic values, press freedom, women’s rights,” said Sancharaki.
“We can provide insurance to all government employees if we want to do so. The private sector should provide insurance coverage to its workers,” said Sayed Anwar Sadat, Acting Minister of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled.